Lessons from the Summit: 3 Things You Should Know

AWS Chicago Summit

From serverless to security, migration to machine learning, and hybrid cloud, the recent AWS Summit in Chicago was buzzing with conversation. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, we’ve broken down three of the biggest lessons we took from the conference and what they mean for your business in the cloud.

1: Flexibility Drives All

At a time when many major enterprises are both trying to figure out cloud migration on their own terms and realizing there is no one-size-fits-all solution, AWS offers a way forward with little to no disruption to business operations. This was driven home in the keynote with a guest appearance by Sysco, the food distributor, where they discussed the now-finished process of fully migrating their legacy mainframe into AWS—something which had never been done before on this large a scale. They reduced storage costs by 40% while increasing agility and security across operations in more than 90 countries. Needless to say, we were impressed.

2: Serverless Compute is the Future

Following the theme of flexibility, a major topic was serverless compute and the ease with which AWS allows customers to utilize this key piece of the cloud puzzle to increase efficiency and simplify development. Serverless architecture does away with the traditional cloud model of space or time leasing on a provider’s servers in favor of leasing a function that runs their code when needed, only paying for the time and space taken to do so (“gigabyte-seconds”). As the very first keynote speaker, VP of AWS Compute Services Matt Garman, was quick to point out, serverless is as important to those running compute as any other element of IT infrastructure. And AWS has that covered.

3: Lambda

AWS Lambda is Amazon’s platform for serverless compute. Lambda portions out gigabyte-seconds on AWS and takes care of the bootstrapping and dependency elements itself so developers don’t have to worry about the environment they’re coding for—just the code. The conference drove home AWS’ utility for hybrid cloud and appeal from both a developer and management standpoint. Making development more efficient and reducing the cost of hybrid and multi-cloud systems are hard benefits to beat, so much of the discussion around Lambda was focused on how best it can be used (e.g. as an effective database). Importantly, if an enterprise is using a standard LAN-based network configuration, they should be able to easily replace it all with AWS without much, if any, disruption to services.

What We Learned

While there were no earth-shattering announcements at this summit, AWS continues to improve their offerings to better serve existing and emerging market needs. Whether it’s digital transformation, hybrid cloud, serverless, or a host of other core aspects of the industry, the message could not be clearer: Not only does AWS help you reduce costs and increase security, productivity, and efficiency, but their suite of services as a whole allows a flexibility in infrastructure, development, and operations that other cloud providers can’t match.